As a gambling man myself, and a very bad one at that (having once gambled away over £100 on virtual Deal Or No Deal less than a week before my girlfriend and I celebrated our first anniversary), I often dream of seeing my bank balance randomly spiral out of the norm and into the thousands and millions.
But as is the sad reality of life, that very rarely happens and even when it does it doesn’t necessarily have a fairytale ending.
For example, meet this 21-year-old woman from Sydney, Australia, who was stopped by Australian Federal Police at the city’s international airport as she tried to board a flight to Malaysia on Wednesday evening.
The woman had allegedly been wrongly transferred over 4.6 million Australian dollars (£2.3 million pounds). Wow.
Apparently the woman had been sent the money back in 2012, when she was still a teenager but had failed to return it (can you blame her?).
A warrant for her arrest was then issued in March of this year, following an investigation by Australian police in the state of New South Wales.
After she was caught at the airport she was handed right over to police and charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime – which basically means that she’s being charged for having a great life on somebody elses money.
But is it really her fault? She didn’t go out of her way to steal the money. And according to Mashable, that’s exactly what a judge is currently arguing, stating that she may not have necessarily broken the law.
Magistrate Lisa Stapleton is currently arguing that ‘she didn’t take it from them. They gave it to her.’, which means that she hasn’t broken the law in spending the money, she just needs a way of paying it back.
However such cases in the past have not turned out so well.
Over in New Zealand Hui ‘Leo’ Gao was accidentally handed a NZ$10 million (£4.75 million pounds) overdraft in 2009, and for the next few years he spent his life on the run with his girlfriend.
Apparently Gao applied for a $100,000 overdraft to aid his garage which was struggling but was accidentally issued with over $10 million, and by the time the bank found out about it, Gao had already sent half the money overseas and gone on a pretty hefty gambling spree.
When he was finally caught and arrested, Gao told the authorities that he had no way of paying the money back and was sentenced to four years and seven months in jail.
But what do you think? If you’re sent the money by mistake, without using intent to steal a wad of cash, should you be prosecuted as a result of somebody else’s wrongdoing.
Let us know below:
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.